Jul 11 2006
The sheer number of iPod cases out there can make the search for the perfect enclosure tedious. For a purist, the selection can even be nauseating. There are silicon cases in color combinations that should be outlawed (not to mention that they are dirt and lint magnets). There are massive hulkish cases that will preserve your iPod through nuclear annihilation. And there are paper-thin peel-off screen protectors that trap bubbles between you and your screen.
You love your iPod (or you wouldn’t be reading this). You want to protect it without losing that slick iPod look. XtremeMac’s MicroShield will protect better than most, and lets your iPod’s style shine through. It’s not the perfect case for everyone, but its unique combination of features make it a great grab.
Style and Size
It only took a week of use with my new iPod for me to understand that a case was not optional. I was (and still am) in love with the design of the gadget – so I didn’t want an ugly case to cover that up. This lead me to my first criteria: style. The MicroShield is crystal clear, front and back. Its contour lines match those of the iPod almost perfectly. On the video model, the back of the case curves with the back of the iPod on the sides, but not the top and bottom.
My other dilemma, as a 30 GB owner was to find a case that was actually designed for my model. Most cases simply say that fit this 30 and 60 GB models. They do this by putting a shim in behind your 30 GB, making it as thick as the 60 – robbing the slim 30 of its lean profile. The MicroShield is molded into a 30 and 60 GB models, so there is no shim.
Complete Protection, Complete Access
Another pitfall in dressing your iPod is that you rarely find a complete package. The only cases that cover the click wheel tend to be the silicon ones, that for previously stated reasons are less desirable. Other case manufacturers require you to buy an additional screen/clickwheel protector. XtremeMac’s case already protects the screen and metal back of the iPod with plastic. Additionally, I was pleased to find the MicroShield comes with a clickwheel protector. The adhesive film covers the wheel and select button and is protected from peeling by the case itself.
The case – which does not require any opening to access the iPod’s controls – also leaves open the top and bottom of the ‘pod for access to the headphone jack, hold switch and doc connector. The case – which is made up of two hard plastic faces that snap on the front and back of the iPod actually comes with two backs. One is smooth faced and the other sports a belt clip. This is great if you have no intention of using hte belt clip and would rather enjoy a smooth back on your case.
Of course everything has a down side. For this case, it would probably be he scratchability of the case itself. After riding a week in my pocket, this case has only tiny marks on it (much less than the iPod would have sustained). Mostly it was the pocket lint that got into the case that appeared like scratches. This case will, in time scratch – but its much better to scratch the 20-something dollar case then the several hundred dollar iPod, right?
If you are looking for a hard clear case with clickwheel protection that matches the profile of your iPod video or nano, then this is a excellent case. If you are looking for florescent hello kitty, then you’ll want to pan this case. If you are a video 30 owner, this case is a must for its slim fit. All in all, it is a practical and very nice looking case. It’s not too expensive for a complete solution.
These cases are available all over. Below are links to the cases on Amazon. Prices below are at time of publishing:
XtremeMac MicroSheld for iPod nano for $14.99